AFGHANISTAN: Afghan President Hamid Karzai heads to neighboring Pakistan today for talks with the country's leader. Mr. Karzai is expected to meet in Islamabad with Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf. Pakistan's foreign ministry called the visit one of good-will and an expression of solidarity for Pakistan. The two leaders plan to discuss boosting security along their border, including coordinating the fight against Taliban and al-Qaida militants. Mr. Karzai has said militants are being trained outside the country, in places like Pakistan.
NEPAL - BRIDGE: Police and soldiers in western Nepal are searching for more than 100 people missing after a Tuesday bridge collapse. Rescuers have recovered 15 bodies so far from the icy waters of the Bheri river. At least 32 people have been treated for injuries. Officials say some of the seriously wounded have been flown to a hospital in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu. Between 400 and 500 people were crossing a suspension bridge in the remote Surkhet district Tuesday, when the support cables snapped under the weight. People were on their way to a local religious festival.
INDONESIA - LANDSLIDES: Indonesian officials say at least 81 people are dead or missing from floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains on Indonesia's main island of Java. The landslides hit villages in the densely populated districts of Karanganyar and Wonogiri in central Java. Local officials say rescue workers, soldiers and police have been trying to get heavy-lifting equipment to the affected villages, but have been hampered by roads blocked by floods and landslides. Landslides are frequent in Indonesia, where years of deforestation often mean there is little vegetation to hold the soil.
TSUNAMI - ANNIVERSARY: Thousands of Indonesians have marked the third anniversary of the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami with an emergency drill on the main island of Java. Participants on the island's beaches ran up hills heading inland today, as sirens blared to signal the start of the exercise. Participants were responding to an imaginary tsunami and eight-point-zero magnitude earthquake. Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono attended the drill. Asians also marked the anniversary by attending mass prayer sessions. Massive tsunami waves triggered by a powerful earthquake hit 12 Indian Ocean countries on December 26th, 2004, killing around 230-thousand people.
ASIA BIRD FLU: Health officials in Indonesia say bird flu has killed a woman in Jakarta. She is the 94th person reported to die from the virus in Indonesia. An official with the health ministry said today the 24-year-old woman died Tuesday in a hospital. Two tests showed she had been infected with the H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus. She first showed symptoms of the disease on December 14. Officials said they are still trying to determine how she was exposed to the virus. Indonesia has had more cases of bird flu in humans than any other country.
SOKOR POLITICS: South Korea's cabinet has approved a bill calling for a probe of fraud allegations against President-elect Lee Myung-bak -- one week after Mr. Lee won a landslide election victory. Government sources say the cabinet approved the parliamentary measure during a meeting today. South Korea's President Roh Moo-hyun will name an independent counsel early next month to investigate the allegations. Mr. Lee will be South Korea's first president-elect to face a criminal investigation. Two days before last week's election, South Korea's parliament voted to appoint a special counsel to investigate fraud allegations against Mr. Lee after new evidence surfaced.
BANGLADESH - POL: The extortion trial of former Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina resumed today in the country's capital, Dhaka. Court proceedings had been delayed due to legal wrangling over the location of the trial. Ms. Hasina, along with her sister and a cousin, are accused of taking more than 400-thousand dollars from a businessman in return for letting his company build a power plant. The charge is just one of several the former prime minister is facing. Ms. Hasina, leader of the Awami League party, has denied the charges, saying the army-backed emergency government is trying to force her from politics.
CHAD - FRANCE - CHARITY: Prosecutors in Chad are asking for seven to 11 years of hard labor for six French aid workers accused of trying to kidnap more than 100 children from the central African nation. The request was made today during the aid workers' trial in the Chadian capital of N'djamena. The six are members of the French charity group Zoe's Ark. They were among 17 Europeans arrested in late October as they tried to put the children on a plane bound for France. The group maintained they were saving orphans from Sudan's troubled Darfur region.
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